OT - Gas to hit 4.00

Stuart Jansen sjansen at buscaluz.org
Wed Jun 4 16:26:15 MDT 2008

On Wed, 2008-06-04 at 14:30 -0600, Dave Smith wrote:
> That's because the average American is broke. It's not the
> government's problem that Americans can't control their spending
> and apparently prefer to live paycheck-to-paycheck.
> Although I have to say that it's behavior like this that has created a 
> housing bust and caused the Fed to reduce interest rates, which means I 
> get my pick of nice real estate at bargain basement prices.

I agree 100% that much of the problem is self inflicted, if we're
talking about _middle_ class Americans. However, not everyone is so
fortunate as us. Even in America, some people have fewer educational
opportunities, bad examples from their parents, health problems, etc.
that make living day to day a real challenge.

Because of the circles I move in, I've haven't seen much poverty in
Utah. Instead I've mostly seen materialists. I don't know if they're
living beyond their means, but I do know that a lot of people have
bigger homes and more expensive cars than they need. I still remember my
first reaction walking out of the airport after returning from 2 years
in Brasil. The cars were obscene.

But the government hasn't done much to help. Increasing our national
debt is irresponsible. We can't forever hope to rely on the power of the
US dollar as the standard international currency. People are already
starting to doubt our ability to make good on our debt. That's _one_ of
the reasons for the weakening dollar and rising prices.

Unconscionable subsidies are _another_ part of the problem. We subsidies
corn making unhealthy corn syrup cheaper than sugar. We subsidies corn
based ethanol while erecting trade barrier to prevent the importation of
cheaper sugarcane based ethanol. Not only are we forcing up gas prices
to encourage a technology everyone already recognizes is stupid (both
the short term and long term), but we're exporting problems to other
countries. It's obscene that we're making Mexican stomachs compete with
American SUV tanks. Food is not fuel.

It's a vicious cycle. Americans make bad personal decisions and
unreasonable demands from the government. Politicians give them what
they want.

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